By Reid Wilson
House GOP Conference chair Mike Pence
will urge gun rights activists to
make a strong push to help his party
take back the House while abandoning
Dems who have helped curb gun control
legislation favored by liberals in
In a speech he will give today in
Charlotte, at the NRA's annual convention,
Pence said he will encourage the NRA to
back his partyrather than pro-gun Dems.
"The NRA has a history of supporting
candidates in both political parties who
support gun rights, and I respect that,
but I do believe we have a historic
opportunity to elect a conservative
majority to Capitol Hill," Pence told
Hotline OnCall in an interview yesterday.
"I'm going to be challenging people at the
NRA to seize that opportunity, to get
behind men and women across this country
who are committed to constitutional
The NRA endorsed most of the GOP
Conference during the '08 election, but
they also have a long history of
supporting Dems. The group backed 52 House
Dem incumbents in '08.
Pence, who has made several high-profile
appearances at conservative events across
the country, will also voice his opposition
to Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, thanks
to reports yesterday that Kagan did not
support repealing a DC gun ban. And as some
in conservative circles think Pence is
contemplating a WH'12 bid, he will stoke the
flames by laying out the outline of a platform.
Lately, Pence has led the GOP charge against
allowing US money contributed to the IMF
assist in bailing out Greece. Greece's troubled
economy has caused stock market shudders around
the world, Pence acknowledged, but he said
Greeks should take steps to get their fiscal
house in order.
"I simply believe it's wrong to put Americans
on the hook for billions for dollars of loan
guarantees to countries that have embraced
economic policies and fiscal practices that
have brought them to fiscal crises," Pence said.
"The U.S. isn't asking Europe for help with New
Jersey or California."
Pence would not preview his remarks on gun
rights, but though gun rights advocates have
been nervous about the Obama admin, no significant
legislation has come to the floor. A possible deal
to give DC a vote in the House fell apart when
Dems refused to allow a provision that would
expand gun rights in the nation's capital.
Pence isn't the only potential WH'12 contender
who will address NRA delegates this weekend in
Charlotte. Ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich,
Sen. John Thune (R-SD), MS Gov. Haley Barbour (R)
and ex-AK Gov. Sarah Palin (R) are all set to
speak today and tomorrow.